Integrating dance and language education: a pedagogical epiphany

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Dance fulfils several educational purposes, particularly in the context of second language teaching and learning. Nevertheless, challenges to implementing dance as an approach to teach and learn a second language do exist. For teachers, it is essential to develop varied pedagogical approaches to suit different student cohorts. But it is not reasonable to expect that every language teacher is a born expert and connoisseur of dance or every dance teacher a born expert and connoisseur of the target language. Moreover, we have not seen studies focus on the development of the pedagogy of using dance as an approach for teaching and learning a second language. In this article, we assembled autoethnography and educational connoisseurship and criticism to investigate Nan’s experience through the process of generating descriptive narration, interrogating reflective analysis, evaluating understandings, and discerning themes. The themes discussed were communicative and intercultural competence, language acquisition and immersion, cognitive learning transfer, and multiple accesses. This study offers empirical evidence for the benefits that dance activities can make to students’ second language competence development and affords pedagogical insights for teachers who want to employ dance as an approach to teach a second language.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3112-3126
Number of pages15
JournalThe Qualitative Report
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Autoethnography
  • Chinese cultural dance
  • Educational connoisseurship and criticism
  • Movement
  • Second language education

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